There goes a legend, that the first coffee beans made their way into India
through a travelling Muslim cleric called Baba Budan, in the
16th century. He carried seven seeds in a little
pouch on the long journey back, after a pilgrimage
to Yemen. The seeds were then planted on the Giri
mountains in Chikmagalur district, now known as
the Baba Budan Giri mountains, which are part
of the Western Ghats.
The colonial enterprise of the British popularized
coffee plantations as a viable economic industry
in the late 1820s. In 1826, there were only seven
British coffee planters in the erstwhile Mysore
State. By 1856, that number had increased to 662
plantation owners, who actually managed 8094 hectares
of the total cultivated area of 58690 hectares.
the early years, Coffee was largely planted in
the hilly tracts of the Western Ghats. Today,
these are still the traditional coffee growing
areas, with certain tracts identified as exclusive
zones, producing coffee of exceptional quality.
Today, Indian coffee growers have made a mark
on the international map of coffee.